Wow, today went by so fast! The sign of a good day, I’d say. I’m going to review this now so I can get down to some work tomorrow and Monday. I will try and keep the review organized but my reviewing style is far from organized, so I wouldn’t count on any sort of structure here.
I headed over to Rough Trade East at 11 and caught the first two bands there. The shop was quite busy and had a constant flow of people at the till, which was nice to see. The first band were called Betty and the Werewolves. They sounded a bit like the Vivian Girls but with less reverb. There were a couple of little girls who watched the whole set with their fingers shoved into their ears, it was really cute. Next came My Sad Captains. They were pleasant and had some elements I enjoyed but overall they didn’t have me riveted.
I met up with my friend Alicia and we went to the safe haven of Tesco to buy some cheap £1 pasta. Nom. It’s pretty easy to get to Rough Trade West from East, you just hop on the tube at Liverpool street and it delivers you to Ladbroke Grove which is only 5 minutes or so from the Rough Trade West store. This was my first visit West. It’s off of ‘trendy Portobello Road’ (I always see it described that way). It’s not all that trendy in my book, just ridiculously busy. The Rough Trade West shop was tiny but really lovely. The instores were held downstairs in the vintage section. The 2 o’clock act, Nat Johnson, was running late so went outside and met up with Rob and then went in search of some Cornettos. I think anyone who has ever spent a sunny day with me will know I looooove the Strawberry ones. I try to resist, but resistance is futile.
We returned to the shop and watched former Lightning Seeds man Ian Broudie play a short but enjoyable set. Next came a bookreader whose name I have forgotten. For the purpose of the review I will call him Bookreader. He came and introduced his book he was going to read to us. He was starting over half way into the book so paraphrased the whole first half of the book for us. Unfortunately for me I wasn’t listening (probably thinking about Wildbirds or Alessi or Dirty Projectors or something), so the next 15 minutes of the reading were thoroughly confusing. He reads really dramatically, and because I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I thought it was a wee bit funny. Which is bad, because I almost got the giggles. The book was about some Greek detectives or something, putting bodies and diapers in bin liners. It was out of context and I was struggling not to have a good old giggle. I’m sure the book is great and he seemed like a cool guy, but it was a painful 15 minutes.
As he finished up Alessi arrived. I wish I could be more cool and less excitable, but I can’t help but get excited to see my favourite acts play. She came and said hi and soon started playing. She played on the front side of the counter, there must have been 20-30 people there. It was very lovely and she was as charming as ever. I love seeing Alessi play! Go see her play. If you don’t love her then … you confuse me. The 3 folks who I was with had never seen Alessi before, and all 3 were totally won over and are now firmly on Team Alessi. It makes me super happy when people enjoy the bands I recommend and rave about. Not only did she charm my 3 friends, it was clear everyone in the room loved it. It was a wonderful set and I can’t wait to see her again, all going to plan that’ll be on Friday. Win. After Alessi it was Nat Johnson, who I saw about a year ago supporting Nicole Atkins. It was very mellow and laid back and I enjoyed her set. I like her cover of Cake’s Mexico, I wish she played it.
After Nat’s set we made our move. At the tube station the machine wasn’t accepting my card to top up my Oyster card. I assumed this meant I was somehow completely broke. Booooo. So we went to the cash machine and it turns out I’m not broke, student loan day was today! Hooray! To celebrate we went to Wetherspoons and nommed on some tasty food. It was a lovely day, largely due to being able to see Alessi play again. Go see her, she’s wonderful! Here is her Myspace.